Bermant Gynecomastia Male Breast Reduction Plastic Surgery
Bermant Gynecomastia Male Breast Reduction Cosmetic Surgery

Gynecomastia Symptoms - Signs of Male Breast Enlargement

Learn about signs and indicators of enlarged male breasts and gynecomastia.

Michael Bermant, MD
Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery

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Gynecomastia Symptoms and Features

Gynecomastia (female breasts in men) is a contour problem. Gynecomastia symptoms are more of shape and reaction to the deformity. Since there are many causes of gynecomastia, there can be symptoms from the underlying problem.

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Gynecomastia Symptoms of Male Breast EnlargementContour Problem - Gynecomastia Symptoms
Just what makes a breast female? All mammals, both male and female have gland. Under hormonal stimulation, the gland enlarges. As pubescent female breasts grow larger, more gland and fat develop and as a result, the skin begins to stretch. The shape is one that looks like Puffy Nipple Gynecomastia as the breasts enlarge. How large the gland must become before the contour is considered a breast has no clear set point. As the breasts get bigger, curves evolve, tissue hangs creating a fold under the breast. After major weight loss, Male Chest Sagging can be a contour symptom.

Breast Growth and Enlargement - Gynecomastia Symptoms
Breast gland can get bigger under hormone stimulation. Fat cells of the breast can enlarge with hormones and with weight gain. Breast skin size stretches as breasts become larger. The areola enlarges and the nipples project.

Do I Need to Have a Large Amount of Breast Tissue to Have Gynecomastia?
No, it does not take much breast to interfere with the cut look of a Bodybuilder with Gynecomastia. A tiny gland with almost no fat can look bad. Excess Male Fat collects in the breast and belly. A pendulous breast in an obese male will have mostly fat and some gland. Big, small, intermediate size breasts all can cause distress in a male.

Location of Gland
Functionally, glands attach to the nipple so that milk can be delivered. Firmer tissues tend to collect under the nipple, but then spread out from there.

gynecomastia signs symptomsIs How Firm an Indicator? - Gynecomastia Symptoms
Gland tends to be firm, fat soft. However, Dr. Bermant has seen firm fat and soft gland. There are usually fingers of fat that extend through fingers of gland as you can see in this Anatomy of Gynecomastia. This extension of tissue mixed with fat can obscure what is felt during examination. Gland during hormone stimulation tends to be firmer. It can soften just after removal of the stimulus. Gland then tends to firm up as it further matures.

How mass shows on movement.
Firm tissues like gland do not compress like fat. In motion such as muscle compression, even a small gland can stick out. Bigger breasts bounce. Momentum drags tissue exaggerating a non-male contour.

gynecomastia indications symptomsHow Long the breasts have been there? - Gynecomastia Symptoms
During hormonal stimulation, glands tend to enlarge. In the womb, there are maternal hormones that can result in small male breasts. During adolescence, hormone imbalance can result in bigger male breasts. For women, hormones stimulate bigger breasts during lactation. When the stimulation is removed, the breasts can reduce in size. For the male, remove the stimulation, breasts tend to shrink. Unfortunately, some tissue typically remains. When breast growth is the fat of obesity, weight loss can reduce the size of the breasts. The length of time the breasts have been big contributes how well skin will shrink to the smaller contour.

male breast symptoms and signsTenderness, Sensitivity, Itching, Pain, Discomfort are all sensations that can occur with gland stimulation. The degree can vary from mild sensitivity to frank pain on even the slightest touch. Frequency can be from rarely to all the time. A normal male breast is supposed to be sensitive. A growing gland's hypersensitivity goes well beyond that.


Male Nipple Discharge comes in many different forms and can be normal or a sign that needs to be evaluated.

gynecomastia symptoms - hidingSocial Patters of Chest Exposure Avoidance - Gynecomastia Symptoms
The most distressing symptom of male breasts is the Emotional Stress of Living with Gynecomastia. Dr. Bermant's patients have expressed horror stories of teasing, ridicule, and social ostracism because of their gynecomastia. Many will hide the problem, avoid chest exposure, wear heavy clothing or multiple layers, or wear Male Chest Sculpting Garments. There may be scars from attempts to tape the chest to hide the deformity. Hunching shoulders to conceal the contour results in poor posture. Parents need to be aware of such issues as suffers usually have difficulty discussing their concerns.

Symptoms from other problems that can cause gynecomastia depend on the medical issue. Hair pattern, fat distribution male or female, testicle size are several of many possibilities.

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This page last updated on: January 10, 2013

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